Jeff TowerMeet Our Staff: Jeff

Hailing from an altogether less fascinating part of Northeast Ohio than where Mike O is from, Jeff was born way too long ago, in a world in which punk did not yet exist. And now that we have piqued your interest....

Despite growing up in the virtual shadow of Kent State University, both geographically and chronologically, (What? Haven't you ever heard of time shadows?) Jeff's first exposure to punk didn't come until the early 1980's, when he first heard Kent's most famous band, Devo, playing their most famous song, Whip It, on a little-known station called MTV. We hear MTV played music once upon a time... Anyway, he hated it.

Fortunately for Jeff, and we suppose for the future prospects of SSCR Tampa, also playing on MTV at the time were legendary punk stalwarts The Clash. The Only Band That Matters was the only band young Jeff needed to seed musical interests as diverse as they were, and eventually, Jeff would make up for lost time. He dove into the post-punk and new wave origins of what later would be called "alternative rock", finding influences among Elvis Costello, Ric Ocasek, Madness, and Talking Heads. Jeff even learned to love Devo, after finding that their only mainstream hit was a far cry from the much better material that never made it to MTV. He also would discover music from the previous decade, becoming a fan of such artists as The Ramones, Warren Zevon, The Sex Pistols, Meatloaf, Blue Oyster Cult, and Donnie Iris. The last three of these formed the basis of Jeff's first concert: A 1990 concert in Jeff's hometown, which lasted for 12 hours. This was the most interesting thing to happen musically in Garrettsville, Ohio, until Insane Clown Posse chose this small town to host the first of several annual "Gathering of the Juggalos" in 2003. 

The early 1980's also started for Jeff a lifelong love for radio, which itself grew out of a love for baseball... or maybe an aversion to bedtime. Jeff learned, while listening to Pittsburgh Pirates games on KDKA, that "bedtime after the game" could be extended by an hour or two by finding games on St. Louis' KMOX, Atlanta's WSB, Cincinnati's WLW (both the Braves and the Reds were in the NL West at the time), or some other AM station carrying a West Coast game. So it was only natural that when Jeff was in college, he would pursue a career in radio, landing first at WCVJ near Cleveland. Thus started a profitable and rewarding career in the exciting format of Christian Contemporary Music... hmmm, okay, maybe not. Jeff returned to college, but found the music more to his liking when he worked at campus station WFAL of Bowling Green State University. He also discovered "new media" in the form of this newfangled Internet thing, which the Toledo Blade told him was just a fad. 

Jeff also met his wife at Bowling Green, and together they share a deep and abiding love of... um, Dropkick Murphys, and a tolerance for one another.😄 After hopping about Ohio, Atlanta, and Orlando, they moved to the Tampa Bay Area in 2012; first to Zephyrhills [The City of Pure Water] and finally to the Sulphur Springs neighborhood of Tampa. As they prepared to move to Tampa in 2020, Jeff decided that wasn't enough stress for him, and had the notion to start SSCR Tampa. (And then 2020 decided that wasn't enough stress for us all, and had the notion to give us a global pandemic.) Much to Jeff's surprise, his wife called his bluff. And so here we are!

[Jeff would like to thank his wonderful wife, who is a much better person than he portrays here. Jeff, however, remains every bit as horrible and altogether unfascinating as he portrays himself. Even more so, if you ask the rest of the SSCR Tampa crew. --ed.]